The grave marker of Absalom Strange in the Strange Cemetery. (Photo by Steve Roush.)
The grave marker of Absalom Strange in the Strange Cemetery. (Photo by Steve Roush.)
Ladies and gentlemen, on Jan. 31, 1860, Joshua Brown bought 112 acres of land that would be the catalyst that led to the Brown-Roush Farm west of Hillsboro being designated an Ohio Sesquicentennial Farm in 2019.

Joshua Brown, who is my great-great-great-grandfather, bought the property from William Strange, et al. for $2,892.86. From everything I can tell, it appears to have been an estate sale as Brown bought a 6/7ths interest of the land.

The Stranges’ attorney handling the transaction was Absalom Strange, who was born April 18, 1797 and died Oct. 1, 1872 at the age of 75. He’s buried in the Strange Cemetery near Fairview. Here’s a Strange fact: There are more Roushes buried in the Strange Cemetery than Stranges, but we digress.

Absalom Strange was representing George Strange and his wife, Lydia; Absalom Thomason and his wife, Rosa Ann Strange Thomason; Stephen Strange and his wife, Cynthia; all of whom lived in Grant County, Indiana, along with William Strange and his wife, Lucinda; Allen Pence and his wife, Margaret Strange Pence; and William Stockwell and his wife, Sarah Strange Stockwell, all of whom lived in Highland County. William Strange (1823-1883) and Lucinda Pence Strange (1824-1900) are also buried in the Strange Cemetery.

When I see the name Pence, my eyes light up because 5th great-grandfather, Philip Roush Jr. (1774-1858), married Mary Pence (1780-1885). They’re buried in the Old Dutch Cemetery off of Pence Road. After a little digging, Allen Pence (1826-1902) and Margaret Strange Pence (1826-1916) are buried in the Strange Cemetery, and I discovered Allen’s father was Henry Pence (1787-1846), the brother of Mary Pence Roush. Henry and his wife, Catharine Pence (1791-1885) are also buried in the Old Dutch Cemetery. Henry and Mary’s father was Michael Pence (1738-1799), who was one of the first pioneers of Adams County – and is my 6th great-grandfather. I’ll have to check, but I’m pretty sure U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is related to the aforementioned Mike Pence, maybe VP Pence’s 5th great-grandfather.

Getting back to the Stranges, Margaret Strange Pence’s father was the aforementioned esquire Absalom Strange, and her mother was Margret “Peggy” Tedrick Strange (1801-1845). Speaking of Tedricks, another 3rd great-grandfather of mine, George Roush (1827-1907), married a Tedrick, Elizabeth Tedrick Roush (1829-1882).

Perhaps the Pence/Tedrick relationship takes the property Joshua Brown bought back even further, but 1860 is just dandy for me.

Also interesting are some of the listed boundaries of the land. One is up against the property of the aforementioned George Roush, and it mentions property Joshua Brown also owned along with a railroad that came through the area back in those days.

So now Joshua Brown and his family own a 6/7ths interest of the 112-acre property. Joshua Brown would turn the Strange land completely Brown on Dec. 16, 1863 when he paid $482.14 to buy the remaining 1/7th interest from Adam Stroup and his wife, Rachel Strange Stroup.

Let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time with more on the Brown-Roush Ohio Sesquicentennial Farm owned by my parents, Ken and Judy Roush.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at roush_steve@msn.com.